Although Bosch have just released the new Performance Line CX 2020 (Generation 4), the 2019 model is still the most popular eMTB motor on the market and found on many current bikes. Launched in 2015 the Bosch Performance Line CX hasn’t evolved all that much over the years, so can it live up to today’s high expectations? Is it still a good option or should you opt for a bike with the new 2020 Bosch motor?

Before we get into the review, we would like to tell you about our latest print edition. The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Click here to find out what it takes to be the best eMTB motor.

For years, the Bosch Performance Line CX (2019) was the most powerful motor in the German manufacturer’s portfolio. On the trail the motor offers a superb torque of 75 Nm and powerful performance over a wide cadence range. The progressive eMTB mode adjusts the support level between the assistance levels of Tour and Turbo modes according to your riding style and pedalling intensity. On the trail, the Performance Line CX (2019) always delivers sufficient power along with good modulation on startup. After short pedalling breaks (for example to prevent your pedals from smashing into a rock) the motor pushes quite abruptly and vigorously. On forest roads and flat trails the eMTB mode provides strong support at the slightest pedal pressure and calls for a lower support mode in order to save power. When riding above the 25 km/h limit or with a low battery you notice obvious pedal resistance.

Despite delivering great power even at lower cadences, the old Performance Line CX is starting to age.

The Performance Line CX comes as a closed system. For bike manufacturers this means they have to fit the battery, remote, display, motor and software as a complete package. For end consumers this means that Bosch’s efficient international service network will be able to help them out with any hardware or software issues quickly. Bosch doesn’t give bike manufacturers the option of individual adaptation or integration solutions. They offer 4 display/remote units – where the Kiox and Purion models are particularly suited for eMTBs. Even though the Kiox display is able to communicate with the Bosch eConnect App, we would love to see more and better connectivity and individualization features. The way the Bosch Kiox display sits on the stem, makes it susceptible to impacts but manufacturers are also given the option of placing it more discreetly and in a position that makes it less vulnerable. The old Bosch Performance Line CX is the heaviest and biggest motor in our test. Its large dimensions have caused a few headaches among bike designers and has resulted in a number of special and unique designs.

Conclusion

The Bosch Performance Line CX 2019 is both intuitive and powerful. However, the noise level, pedalling resistance and limited integration options give away its age. The newest model outperforms the older generation Performance Line CX in every regard. The massive reduction in size allows for giant performance jumps in bike geometry and the old Performance Line CX is now heavily outdated. Bring on new bikes with the new motor!


Torque 75 Nm
Motor weight 4.09 kg
Riding modes 4

App management no
Walk-assist yes
System closed

Tops

  • Efficient international service network
  • eMTB mode

Flops

  • Loud
  • Bulky
  • Noticeable pedal resistance

More information at bosch-ebike.com


It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Words: Felix Stix Photos: E-MOUNTAINBIKE team

About the author

Felix Stix

Felix is chief of testing and undoubtedly one of the best test riders in the world. With a degree in sports engineering, excellent mountain bike skills, his love of technology and as a certified bike guide, Felix has everything it takes to make comprehensive and fair assessments of bikes. His legendary group tests are internationally known and feared, though they tend to be a bit longer due to his love of detail and technical deep dives. Every year, he reviews around 100 bikes, specialising in the subject of tires, motors and suspension, before putting on his skis come winter! His know-how is incorporated into each of our reviews, ensuring the quality of our work stays high!